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Old 16 November 2017, 19:20
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wildman43 wildman43 is offline
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Retired Capt Thomas J Hudner Jr, Korean War Medal of Honor Recipient, Passes Away

I just posted the all of the message I received

Retired Capt Thomas J Hudner Jr, Korean War Medal of Honor Recipient, Passes Away

Story Number: NNS171116-08Release Date: 11/16/2017 2:28:00 PM
By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Casey Scoular, USS Constitution Public Affairs Office
BOSTON (NNS) -- More than 800 family, friends, and active duty and retired service members gathered in Concord, Massachusetts, Nov. 16, to pay their final respects to retired Capt. Thomas J. Hudner Jr., who earned the Medal of Honor during the Korean War.

Hudner passed away Nov. 13, at his home in Concord. He was 93.

Believed by many to be a man who embodied the ethos of the United States Navy, Hudner was accepted into the Naval Academy in 1943, commissioned as an officer in 1946 and became an aviation officer in 1949.

On Dec. 4, 1950, Hudner and his squadron were providing air support to American troops during the battle of the Chosin Reservoir. One of Hudner's squadron mates, Ensign Jesse L. Brown, the first African-American to be trained as a naval aviator, was shot down by enemy anti-aircraft fire.

Hudner saw that Brown was still alive in the wreckage and, fearing that if he didn't land, Brown would succumb to his wounds or suffer at the hands of the enemy. In an effort to render aid to a fellow aviator, Hudner crash-landed his own aircraft near Brown's downed plane.

As soon as Hudner dropped his flaps and made his wheels up hard landing, he quickly made his way to Brown. Hudner's attempts to pull Brown out of the wreckage revealed Brown's right leg was crushed under the damaged instrument panel. While Brown drifted in and out of consciousness, Hudner kept trying to free his fellow aviator, all the while packing snow into the still-smoking engine.

By the time a U.S. helicopter arrived to help, Brown was unconscious. For almost 45 minutes, Hudner and the helicopter pilot used an ax to hack away at the damaged plane but they could not free Brown. Even a plan to amputate the leg with a knife wouldn't work because they had no firm footing due to the snow. As nightfall approached with the corresponding drop in temperature, Hudner and the helicopter pilot reached a grim decision to leave Brown behind since the pilot would be unable to fly in the dark. Brown was already near death and died shortly afterward.

Hudner's attempt to save Brown came just two years after the Navy had desegregated. For the rest of his life, Hudner claimed that the reason he landed to save Brown was because Brown, like all service members, would have done the same for him.

On April 13, 1951, Hudner received the Medal of Honor for his actions at the Chosin Reservoir. He served 27 years in the Navy.

Retired Capt. Thomas V. Hennessey Jr. U.S. Navy, knew Hudner for more than 30 years from the Wardroom Club, a dining club for active and former Navy, Coast Guard and Marine Officers.

"He was the most self-effacing modest guy you'd ever meet," said Hennessey. "Everyone knew him, he was such a warm and friendly guy. Everyone loved him"

Hudner was extremely active in the veteran's community of Massachusetts, even going so far as to serve as the commissioner of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Veterans' Services from 1991 to 1999.

Francisco A. Ureña, the current secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Veterans' Services, was one of Hudner's successors and mentees.

"After retiring (from the Navy), he could have gone into business but continued with government service by becoming the commissioner of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Veterans' Services," said Ureña. "He was someone who was extremely caring and passionate, not only about veterans, but specifically about their social needs. He was someone that made us all proud to be civil servants."

Despite all of his personal and professional titles, to some, the one he'll be remembered most as is dad.

"My dad was always there for me," said Thomas J. Hudner III. "I knew he was busy, but he would always attend my sports games. It didn't matter whether my team won or lost, he was always supportive."

For more news from Naval History and Heritage Command, visit

For additional information about naval history, contact the Naval History and Heritage Command's Communication and Outreach division at 202-433-7880 or via email at
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Old 16 November 2017, 19:26
Agoge Agoge is offline
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Rest In Peace, Sir and thank you for your many years of service!

Outstanding legacy!
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Old 16 November 2017, 19:31
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gavin gavin is offline
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A giant among men.
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Old 16 November 2017, 19:51
UGA_11B UGA_11B is offline
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RIP Sir. Thanks for your service. Never forgotten.

Last edited by UGA_11B; 16 November 2017 at 19:51. Reason: Spelling
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Old 16 November 2017, 20:39
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Gumby2/6 Gumby2/6 is offline
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Old 16 November 2017, 21:36
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Fair winds and following seas, Sailor. See you in Valhalla.
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Old 16 November 2017, 21:58
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wildman43 wildman43 is offline
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some additional info
One was the son of a Mississippi sharecropper, the other a privileged New England prep school graduate. One died young, a casualty of wartime. The other lived a long life celebrated for its service to country and to championing racial equality.
Navy Ensign Jesse L. Brown and Lieutenant Thomas J. Hudner Jr., who died Monday at age 93, will forever be linked in history by who they were and what they did. On Dec. 4, 1950, the two pilots were near North Korea’s Chosin Reservoir when Brown’s plane was shot down, crash-landing on a snow-packed mountainside. Spotting Brown waving from the cockpit, Mr. Hudner ditched his own plane near Brown’s and attempted to free his friend from the smoking wreckage. He could not and was evacuated by helicopter as darkness descended.
“We’ll be back for you,” he told a dying Brown, who had a wife and 2-year-old daughter back home.
Navy officers, however, believed a return trip to the crash site would be futile and rejected the mission.
In 2013, Mr. Hudner returned to North Korea in hopes of retrieving the remains of Brown. Although he failed to, his wartime heroics had long ago become the stuff of legend.
The Washington Post has more:
“I was changing into flight gear and he came in and nodded ‘Hello,’ ” Capt. Hudner told the New York Times, remembering his first encounter with Brown. “I introduced myself, but he made no gesture to shake hands. I think he did not want to embarrass me and have me not shake his hand. I think I forced my hand into his.”
Capt. Hudner attributed his egalitarianism to his father, who, he told CNN, had taught him that “a man will reveal his character through his actions, not his skin color.” Brown, who had nurtured a love of airplanes from childhood, by all accounts won the admiration of his squadron with his skill.
By late 1950, the two men had been deployed to Korea, where the United States was fighting with South Korea against the communist North Koreans and Chinese. On Dec. 4, they joined a six-man flying team sent on a reconnaissance mission to support outnumbered American forces in the frigid Chosin Reservoir.[…]
Capt. Hudner’s Medal of Honor, presented to him by Truman in April 1951 and in the presence of Daisy Brown, was the first such award bestowed in the Korean War. Brown posthumously received the Distinguished Flying Cross.
The story is one of my favorites, and luckily if you want to read more about it, there is an entire book about it, in fact, one of my favorite military history books of all time, Devotion: An Epic Story of Heroism, Friendship, and Sacrifice, by Adam Makos.
Devotion tells the inspirational story of the US Navy's most famous aviator duo, Lieutenant Tom Hudner and Ensign Jesse Brown, and the marines they fought to defend.
A white New Englander from the country-club scene, Tom passed up Harvard to fly fighters for his country. An African American sharecropper's son from Mississippi, Jesse became the navy's first black carrier pilot, defending a nation that wouldn't even serve him in a bar.
While much of America remained divided by segregation, Jesse and Tom joined forces as wingmen in Fighter Squadron 32. Adam Makos takes us into the cockpit as these bold young aviators cut their teeth at the world's most dangerous job - landing on the deck of an aircraft carrier - and a line of work that Jesse's young wife, Daisy, struggles to accept.
Deployed to the Mediterranean, Tom and Jesse meet the Fleet Marines, boys like PFC "Red" Parkinson, a farm kid from the Catskills. In between war games in the sun, the young men revel on the Riviera, partying with millionaires and even befriending the Hollywood starlet Elizabeth Taylor. Then comes the war no one expected, in faraway Korea.
Devotion takes us soaring overhead with Tom and Jesse and into the foxholes with Red and the marines as they battle a North Korean invasion. As the fury of the fighting escalates and the marines are cornered at the Chosin Reservoir, Tom and Jesse fly, guns blazing, to try to save them. When one of the duo is shot down behind enemy lines and pinned in his burning plane, the other faces an unthinkable choice: watch his friend die or attempt history's most audacious one-man rescue mission.
A tug-at-the-heartstrings tale of bravery and selflessness, Devotion asks: How far would you go to save a friend?
Here’s a few videos that you might enjoy if you want to know more of the story without (or perhaps before) reading 400+ pages of it.
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Old 19 November 2017, 23:16
bobmueller bobmueller is offline
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CNN had a nice piece about Ensign Jess Brown, and what Capt. Hudner's actions meant at the time. Really good read.
This message is a natural product. The slight variations in spelling and grammar enhance its individual character and beauty and in no way are to be considered flaws or defects.
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Old 20 November 2017, 06:29
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agonyea agonyea is offline
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Lest we forget........
"And the fallen Angels took to flight transformed into fierce beasts, and fell upon their prey" Dante
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